Dr David Matsanga
The Chairman of Pan African Forum Dr David Matsanga has criticised Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky's plans to increase the country's presence in Africa by opening 10 new embassies and strengthening trade ties.

Matsanga rubbished Zelensky's emphasis on the importance of connections with Africa and other parts of the Global South for global stability saying the move will spur proxy wars in the continent. 

"The world is pumping in money into Ukraine  for survival and then Ukraine wants to open up more embassies in Africa? Is this not very strange ? Is Africa being lured into this war with such empty promises? " he posed.

In addition to the new embassies, Zelensky announced that Ukraine would also be setting up trade representative offices in strategic locations on the continent "where our interests are so far represented less than we need."

While Zelensky didn’t specify which nations would host these new diplomatic and economic outposts, he said he would like Ukraine to eventually have a presence in 30 African countries.

African countries have had varying responses to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as some countries like South Africa have close trade and security ties with Russia they do not want to jeopardise.

Russia's blockade of Ukrainian agricultural exports through the Black Sea sparked global grain and fertiliser shortages this year, endangering millions before a U.N.-brokered deal partially eased it in July.

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